When you start with a stock 1999 Shadow VLX, you’re pretty close to terra firma (25.6 inches) already, but Berg knew the most effective route to a radical look was to drop the rear end which, in this case, involved yanking out the stock shock and changing in a spacer bar. The shock came out easily from under the rear fender and seat, with a few turns of a wrench. The replacement strut was a short piece of steel stock Berg had lying around the garage. He cut it to size, drilled mounting holes in both ends, and swapped it in. Perfect. Now he had a mean, squatty, hard-tail low-rider VLX. This step is not irreversible, however. You can still jack the bike up and bolt the shock back on in just a few minutes if your passenger’s hollering about the harshness of the ride (or maybe that’s a personal problem).